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A history of myself, DOES and data

I first began working with databases when I was an undergrad doing Computer Science. There was a module that ran tutorials for data manipulation against an Oracle database using SQL. I remember what I was thinking when trying to figure out how to get the correct output : “I don’t understand, why won’t it work!”. I naively assumed that a career looking at SQL code wouldn’t be exciting, or cutting edge (and far beyond what I was capable of).

Oh boy was I wrong. 

Fast forward a few years, I’m working in a product group as an intern at a large IT multinational and I want to do something cutting edge and exciting! That led me towards QA testing and trying to simulate real world behavior with our product. Well what do you know, one of the most used applications with our products….databases.

So I’m in a conundrum – I am young, inexperienced and want to get from where I was at the time to being knowledgeable enough to use the product in a way our customers would.

My first stop : Google! I even remember the search query , “How do I install Oracle”. This taught me two very important lessons.

(1) There are alot of blogs on how to install Oracle and not all tell you the same thing and  (2) Oracle Database is the worst “start here” for a database beginner with no deployment experience.

So I get my database up and running.  Big problem, trying to test a product using a realistic scenario with an empty, newly deployed database is not very fun. So I do what I do best, I pestered anyone who would listen. Eventually I am steered towards someone who has a tool that populates Oracle databases with data.

At this point you are likely asking yourself “there are loads of tools that can populate databases and test them such as HammerDB, SwingBench, etc – why not just use those ?”. The answer is simple : I was a young, inexperienced intern – I didn’t even know these tools existed. 

At this point I have my running Oracle database, and a tool that pops some data into it. This is where my brain lit up like the sky on the 5th of November. My original thesis that databases and SQL code were not very exciting was absolutely incorrect. As I began to explore the technology, I really began to understand that my original thesis was very wrong – it wasn’t about how difficult it was to create a query or that it didn’t initially appear exciting, it was about the flexibility of form that structured data can provide – and how awesome it was to use a database to organise data in a way that made understanding real world scenarios so much simpler.

I suppose in hindsight there was a reason that data organization is such a large market.

Fast forward years later – I joined Pure Storage as a solutions architect and one of the first things I wanted to understand was how fast could I make my SAP HANA database go on FlashArray//X ? I never had access to any of the SAP standard application benchmark tools and most publicly available database tools cannot work with HANA.

Not one to give up, I opened visual studio, created a new project and began writing the first component of what would become known as the Diverse Object Evaluation Suite, or DOES  in short form.

And now I hope someone else can have similar insights with the public release of D.O.E.S 3.3.4!